RONALD McDonald was the face of the fast-food chain before disappearing from the spotlight.
Why did McDonald’s ditch the colourful figure and will he ever make a return?Ronald McDonald is recognisable around the world[/caption]
Why did McDonald’s get rid of Ronald McDonald?
It followed a disturbing craze which saw pranksters jump out at people dressed as spooky clowns.
Some wielded weapons to spread terror and the trend travelled across the globe.
It began in the US but soon took off in the UK, with police declaring it “no laughing matter”.
What may have started out as a joke quickly turned sinister as one knife-wielding clown chased schoolchildren on their way to class while another lurked beneath streetlights trying to tempt kids into the woods.
A statement released by McDonald’s at the time explained that due to the “current climate around clown sightings in communities,” it would be doing its best to be “thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events”.
And the red-haired, face-painted figure has hardly resurfaced since.
A statement on the McDonald’s website now reads: “We’re afraid that Ronald McDonald no longer appears in McDonald’s UK advertising, but he is still very busy working for us.
“He often travels up and down the country to help promote some of our exciting new activities and visits our restaurants to make sure everyone is enjoying their meals.”
Ronald remains a figure in the Ronald McDonald House Charities logo, but only his striped arm features.
Although the clown sightings were the main reason behind Ronald’s fall from the spotlight, people have been campaigning for McDonald’s to lose its mascot for years.
Critics claimed he was encouraging children to eat unhealthy foods, and in 2011, a group of 550 doctors placed newspaper adverts insisting he retire.
It read: “We ask that you stop marketing junk food to children.
“The rates of sick children are staggering. Ballooning health care costs and an overburdened health care system make treatment more difficult than ever.
“And we know that reducing junk food marketing can significantly improve the health of kids.”
Most read in News
Will Ronald McDonald ever make a return?
Ronald McDonald has made a steady return to public life since the 2016 “killer clown” craze.
He continues to appear at live events and on social media, but he is longer the sole face of the brand.
It is not known if the clown will ever make a full comeback.Ronald was also the face of Ronald McDonald House Charities[/caption]